Magness Library began its storytime sessions this week and youngsters were eager to participate.
“We had a large group on Wednesday, which is the preschool session,” said library assistant director Merissa Chapman. “I was really excited to have seven children on Thursday for my STEM Storytime session.”
For the first time, the library is offering two sessions. The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Storytime session at 10 a.m. on Thursday is for slightly older children, kindergarten through third grade.
“After we read part of a book, the school-age children were given Legos,” said Chapman. “They were given cards that instructed them what to build and they had to use their imagination to build it. One card would just have a letter or a number on it, but others had a house or a dinosaur. What they constructed was completely up to them.”
Library employee Molly Hillis offered Wednesday’s 10 a.m. session. Week one for preschoolers was dedicated to the rules of caring for books. After storytime, preschool children were given crayons and asked to color pictures that presented those rules: Keep books clean and dry, keep away from pets, read with clean hands, keep away from little kids, no food or drink around your books, and do not color or draw in books.
Coloring seems like just a fun-filled activity, said Hillis, but children develop fine motor skills figuring out how to manipulate the crayon, getting them ready to hold a pencil and learn to write.
There are numerous reasons why libraries offer storytimes and all of them are for the benefit of children.
“Children who have yet to attend school really have no idea what to expect,” said Chapman. “Storytime provides them with a little insight of the behaviors expected, such as sitting still and listening. When children get together, their first instinct is to interact with one another and play and not sit still and listen. At storytime, they’ll see other children and adults sitting still and listening and they mimic that behavior.”
Additionally, storytime also teaches children to value books and stories, sparks their imagination and stimulates curiosity, improves social and communication skills, and helps develop a child’s brain, ability to focus and concentration.
Lyndsay Carr expressed appreciation for Magness Library offering storytime for her children, Levi and Charlotte.
“It is such a blessing,” said Carr. “I homeschool both of my children. This gives me the opportunity to teach them how to be quiet, listen and following instruction outside the home.”
For more information about next week’s storytime session, Magness Library can be reached at 473-2428.